In the world of blogging you can find new and interesting people with different types of blogs all over the place. While we’ve been highlighting a lot of travel bloggers and “make money online” bloggers, Marcie of has a blog that covers a wide spectrum of areas such as Chicago, freelance writing, social networking and book writing.

1.) Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging?

Marcie Writes

I am a freelance writer, blogger and author who loves roller skating, black history, Chicago history, and photography. I have been published in national, local and international magazines. I have five blogs, three of which I manage successfully. I’m also the author of 3 blogging ebooks. My Kindle book, 62 Blog Posts to Overcome Blogger’s Block, is the only book that teaches bloggers how to create quality and engaging content for their site. I’m also researching roller skating history and black roller skating history in Chicago.

In 2008, I left my job and 12-year career in human resources to embrace my gift of writing. I was supposed to be a magazine writer.

I submitted a few query letters; didn’t  receive  any responses; and got discouraged. Allow me to be honest. I only submitted about 5 query letters to major publications and expected them to accept a story by an unknown, fairly new writer. Really? All of the books and resources I researched even said to start small and local. What made me think Parade, Essence and Chicago magazines would accept me??

Around that same time, blogging and social media were really beginning to take off, and blogging became my distraction. It became a wonderful distraction. What better way to continue my writing career after the rejections? The only problem was that I not getting paid. Fast forward to 2013, I can say that I am getting paid because of my blog.

2.) What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose that niche?

My two main sites: Shorty: Your Chicago South Side Resource is a community site that shares resources only. Currently, there is no comprehensive resource on the South Side; the community newspapers are dwindling; and mainstream media only share negative information. (Zac, if you’ve been watching the news, please know that all South Siders on Chicago do not kill each other.)

Marcie Writes started as a site to share my published works but it’s turning into a resource for independent writers, bloggers and publishers.

3.) How are you currently monetizing your blog traffic?

My book is my source of monetization; however, I do have plans to increase my cash flow  in 2014.

Marcie Writes Blog

4.) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started blogging?

I  should have started with a business model and better marketing strategy. However, I was blogging for the love of it.

5.) What are three blogs that you visit almost daily?

The blogs I visit frequently are ProBlogger, GrowMap and Make a Living Writing.

6.) Can you give us three recommended tools/services that you use with your blogging?

Three tools that I highly recommend are:

  1. Awesome Screenshot – a Firefox plug-in that allows you to capture visible sections and full screens
  2. Mailchimp E-mail marketing services – FREE
  3. – Free tool that allows to you covert PDFs to JPEGs online when you don’t have Adobe Professional

7.) What advice would you have for someone who is just starting with their first blog?

I would have them to consider the following questions within the first 30 – 60 days:

  1. Why do you want to start a blog?
  2. What are you going to blog about?
  3. Is this a topic that you can write about for at least once a week for a full year?
  4. Who is your audience?
  5. Does your current lifestyle make it possible for you to blog at least once a week?
  6. What type of blog will you have – text, audio, photo or video?

8.) What’s the best advice or tip you’ve discovered about blogging since getting started?

The best thing I discovered about blogging is that bloggers are really supportive and helpful people. Even super busy bloggers will respond to e-mail messages and Twitter (like you did…thanks so much.)

9.) If you only had $100 to start a new blog, how would you use it?

I don’t need another blog. However, I would give $25 to 4 WordPress developers in appreciation for their plug-ins

10.) How can readers of the blog get in touch with you?
Twitter: @marcie_hill

Thanks again Marci for taking the time to share your advice and story with the Blogging Tips community. If you would like to learn about other bloggers and how they are finding success online, be sure to read through our blogger interview series.